BERLIN, January 10. /TASS/. It depends on Moscow whether the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) will remain in place, but the West has no illusions, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said at a New Year’s reception hosted by the German Eastern Business Association on Thursday.

“It is up to Moscow to maintain the Treaty but we don’t have any illusions regarding concessions from Russia,” he said. “This is why we rely on new impulses, particularly within the United Nations Security Council, as far as arms control is concerned,” the German top diplomat added.

INF Treaty situation

The INF Treaty, signed by the Soviet Union and the United States on December 8, 1987, took effect on June 1, 1988. It applies to deployed and non-deployed ground-based missiles of intermediate range (1,000-5,000 kilometers) and shorter range (500-1,000 kilometers). In the recent years, Washington has been repeatedly accusing Russia of violating the treaty. Moscow strongly dismissed the accusations and voiced its own claims concerning Washington’s non-compliance.

On October 20, 2018, US President Donald Trump said that Washington would pull out of the INF Treaty because Russia had allegedly violated it. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said it was a dangerous move. Berlin and Beijing criticized Washington, while London voiced its support for the US, and NATO laid the blame for Trump’s decision on Russia.

US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said on December 4 that Washington would suspend its obligations under the Treaty unless Moscow returned to “full and verifiable” compliance within 60 days. On December 5, Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters that Washington had not provided evidence proving Moscow’s violations of the document. He also said that Russia called for maintaining the Treaty but if the United States pulled out of it, Moscow would have to give an appropriate response.

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